Monday, June 27, 2011

Amazing music movie news for Coen brothers' fans, and some Muppety goodness too

Coincidentally enough, I was thinking just the other day, "Man, it's been a long since I've heard of the Coen brothers working on anything" (yes, I really do think things like that, but - yet, at least - not usually out loud.) Well, according to the always reliable 24 Frames blog from the L.A. Times, the wait is apparently over, and judging by what they've come up with, it sounds like it could well be worth it.

Music has always been key to the Coens' movies, especially with my favorite, "O Brother Where Art Thou," and they've never encountered a genre they couldn't conquer (actually, noir is a mixed bag - "Blood Simple" was sensational, but I loathe "The Man Who Wasn't There), so turning now to a music biopic seems like a natural move, especially when the subject definitely sounds odd enough to suit their outlook.

The subject for their next movie will apparently be Greenwich Village blues singer and activist Dave van Ronk. I don't know much about him myself, but that should just make the movie more fun. He died in 2002, and his memoirs, "The Mayor of McDougal Street" (going to the top of my reading list now), were published posthumously and will be used for material in the new film, which will document the Greenwich Village folk and music scene.

That should give them plenty of colorful characters to work with, and in the folk vein Joel Coen says the film will contain musical performances "pretty much all performed live, single instrument. I have to say, the thing we’re doing now, we’re not writing specifically for any of the parts, which is unusual for us."

From that brief description, and given their track record, I'd expect that this approaches "The Big Lebowski" in form much more than any traditional music biopic. Truly amazing news to start off a Monday morning, and though little is known now beyond that, I can only enthusiastically say bring it on!

OK, keeping with music but moving on quickly because I'm somehow already late at 7:08 a.m., the buildup to the release of "The Muppets" this Thanksgiving will continue in August with the release of "Muppets: The Green Album," which will contain Muppet favorites covered by the likes of Weezer, My Morning Jacket and OK Go.

I've always thought the guys from OK Go were pretty much just living their live as Muppets anyway, so it's a natural fit for them to take on the "Muppet Show Theme." As good as this sounds, however, and I can almost guarantee I'll buy it, the one musical thing that would be much better is a re-release of the soundtrack for the original "Muppet Movie."

We wore a hole right through our cassette copy on family trips when I was a kid, and I'd certainly spring for a great CD copy now. Just sayin'. In the meantime, here's the track listing for "Muppets: The Green Album":

01 OK Go: "Muppet Show Theme"
02 Weezer and Paramore's Hayley Williams: "Rainbow Connection"
03 The Fray: "Mahna Mahna"
04 Alkaline Trio: "Moving Right Along"
05 My Morning Jacket: "Our World"
06 Amy Lee: "Halfway Down the Stairs"
07 Sondre Lerche: "Mr. Bassman"
08 The Airborne Toxic Event: "Wishing Song"
09 Atreyu's Brandon Saller and Good Charlotte's Billy Martin: "Night Life"
10 Andrew Bird: "Bein' Green"
11 Matt Nathanson: "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along"
12 Rachael Yamagata: "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday"

And, to close today, though I'm mildly excited about the existence of the season four premiere of "True Blood" on my DVR, which I'll probably watch tonight, much better will the upcoming second season of "Boardwalk Empire," which given HBO's tendencies, will probably unspool just as soon as the new "True Blood" season ends. Below is the teaser trailer for season two, and the best thing you can say about it is it promises more of the same, but when a show's this good, that's very far from a complaint. Enjoy the trailer, and have a perfectly endurable Monday. Peace out.


jeremy said...

It really surprises me that "The Man Who Wasn't There" is your least favorite Coen Bros. film when they've made tripe like "Intolerable Cruelty" and useless films like "The Ladykillers." Also, Carter Burwell's score is better than his work on "True Grit." I say give it another go. (Also, Deakins' cinematography is the 2nd best looking B&W film behind Martin Ruhe's "Control," in my oh-so-biased opinion.)

Reel Fanatic said...

"Intolerable Cruelty" just liked so bad that I've never bothered to see it, Jeremy (the only Coens' movie I can say that about) ... I have to confess, though, that I liked "Ladykillers" a whole lot more than most of the world, mostly just as mindlessly very funny comedy .. But you're right that I should give "The Man Who Wasn't There" another try, since I've only seen it once many years ago

France said...

I absolutely loved this album, from the first to the last songs they all carried that sense of familiarity while adding something new and amazing to the mix. I purchased this album and listened to it probably six times through in one sitting and never felt any less enjoyment from it.